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Peter Draper

Honorary Life Member of the College

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Biographical details

Peter Draper is Visiting Professor in the History of Architecture, having been Lecturer in the History of Art Department from 1969 and Senior Lecturer from 1993 until his retirement in 2004. He was Honorary Editor of Architectural History, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, 1985.1992 and served as President of the Society 2000-2004. He was chairman of the Fabric Advisory Committee at Southwark Cathedral from 1995 to 2008 and was a member of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England from 2001- 2011.

He served as President of the British Archaeological Association 2007-2010. From 2011 until 2015 he was a member of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England (English Heritage, then Historic England), as the commissioner with expertise in architectural history. In 2014 he was appointed to serve on the Expert Panel which advised on the distribution of £40m for the First World War Cathedral Centenary Fabric Repairs Fund. Following the final report of the Panel, the members were appointed to a continuing Cathedral Project Support Panel organised by the Association of English Cathedrals to provide expert advice on major projects in cathedrals.


    • His publications on medieval architecture have concentrated on English ecclesiastical architecture, especially cathedrals, with a particular interest in the inter-relationship between architecture and liturgical practice.
    • Having extended his research interests to include Islamic architecture and the interactions and parallels between the western and Islamic traditions, he has recently been working on Hindu, Buddhist and Jain architecture in India.

Publications forthcoming

    • P. Draper, ‘Observations on the conception of architecture and its realisation in the medieval period: the Kailasanatha at Ellora’, studies in honour of Roger Stalley eds D. Donovan and N. NicGhabhann, to be published by Brepols  (Autumn 2019)
    • P. Draper (with R. Halsey), 'Jesus College Chapel’, in Cambridge: College and City, Transactions of the Annual Conference of the British Archaeological Association held in 2018.  (Publication likely to be 2020)


Recent articles

    • 'Recent Interpretations of the Late-12th-Century Rebuilding of the East End of Canterbury Cathedral and its Historical Context', British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions, vol. xxxvii (2013), 106–115
    • 'Cell vaults in the architecture of Islam and the West', Z.Opacic & A.Timmerman eds, Architecture, Liturgy and Identity. Liber amicorum Paul Crossley, Studies in Gothic Art I (Brepols, 2011), pp. 315-322
    • .The Late Twelfth-Century East End of Rochester Cathedral., Medieval Art and Architecture at Rochester, T. Ayers and T. Tatton-Brown (eds) British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions XXVIII (2006) 97-113.
    • .Islam and the West: the Early Use of the Pointed Arch Revisited., Architectural History (2005) 48: 1-20.
    • .Enclosures and Entrances in Medieval Cathedrals: Access and Security., in The Medieval English Cathedral: Papers in Honour of Pamela Tudor-Craig, Harlaxton Medieval Studies (Donington, 2003) X: 76-88.